by Harvest McCampbell
Blogger Note: If you have taken my lotion crafting class, I talk about using a perservative in your recipes to extend the shelf life of your lotions. I wanted to let you see a recipe that does not have a perservative (see step 6) listed as one of the ingredients. If you want to add a perservative you may want to experiment with any one of the perservatives that are out there. I found the most common perservative is liquid germall.
2 cups canola oil
1/4 cup dried comfrey leaves
1/4 cup dried arnica flowers
2 teaspoons liquid lecithin
4 ounces aloe vera gel
a few drops of your choice of essential oils
5 8-ounce large-mouthed, glass jars with air-tight lids
1/8 cup measure teaspoon
small brown paper bags
plastic flip-top dispenser bottle
Step 1 - Infuse the Oil
Start by infusing one cup of canola oil with 1/8 cup of comfrey leaves and 1/8 cup of arnica flowers in each of two of your jars that have been very well-cleaned. Canning jars work well. Use dry herbs from the health-food store or herbs you have grown thoroughly dried yourself.
Measure the herbs into your containers. Pour in the oil to about one-half inch from the top of the jars. Cover tightly and place the jars in brown paper bags in a warm spot, such as a sunny shelf (be sure the jars are covered, because light destroys vitamins and enzymes). The herbs will settle to the bottom, so gently shake the jars to suspend the herbs once or twice a day to improve extraction.
After three weeks or as long as eight weeks you can strain out your herbs (the longer you leave them, the stronger the infusion). I like to use a fine-meshed nylon reusable coffee filter (that has never been used for coffee). Strain your oil into a medium-sized bowl, then pour it into two clean jars. Wash and dry the used jars to prepare for the next step. This herbal infused oil can be used for massage as is; however, we are going to use one jar of it as a base for our lotion.
Step 2 - Make the Canola Oil/Lecithin Blend
Add two teaspoons of liquid lecithin to a jar of your herbal-infused oil. Stir very slowly until the lecithin is evenly blended with the oil, which could take between 30seconds and three minutes, depending on the air temperature and the humidity. This blend is a little too heavy to use for massage by itself. However, it is great for softening calluses and scars. Label the jar "Canola Oil/Lecithin Blend" and store it tightly covered in a warm, dry place. Stir thoroughly before each use.
Step 3 - Mix the Lotion
Measure 1/2 cup aloe vera gel into an empty canning jar. Add two teaspoons of your canola oil/lecithin blend to the aloe vera gel. Cover tightly and shake vigorously for about one minute. You should make the lotion hit the top of the jar and then the bottom. The lotion will look creamy and have a light consistency when done. You may notice a slight graininess, which should disappear within a few days.
Rub a few drops of the lotion onto your arm. At this point it will have a very light texture and a nice cooling effect. Depending on the type of massage you do, it will probably not be slippery enough, except for use on your most oily-skinned clients.
To increase the slip value, add a teaspoon or two of your herbal infused oil, the one without the lecithin stirred in. You can add as much as a half cup of the infused oil to your lotion; however the more you use the less cooling effect the lotion will have. I used to keep extra oil in a squeeze bottle in the massage room, so Î could add it as needed while I worked.
Step 4 - Add Scent
Three or four drops of a good quality essential oil are really all you need to give the lotion a nice light scent. For summer, I like frankincense, all the citrus oils, mint and wintergreen. Two drops frankincense, one drop of citrus, and one drop of wintergreen or peppermint is a pleasing blend. It takes about three days for the scents to fully develop.
It is nice to have a few choices of scented lotion on hand as well as some unscented lotion, just in case your clients don't like a particular fragrance or are unusually sensitive.
Step 5 - Decant the Lotion
Using a funnel, decant your finished lotion into your favorite dispenser.
Step 6 - Refrigeration
If you are not going to use all your lotion within a few weeks, it can be refrigerated in between use. You'll need to simply warm it in the microwave or in a container of hot water prior to use. Lotion made with aloe vera gel that does not contain preservatives must be refrigerated between use; however, most aloe vera gel on the market contains preservatives.
If you are looking for other recipes, check out some of the links in the side bar or check in my archive. There are alot of recipes in both places. I am always looking for new recipes to post on my blog, so please return in the future.